Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify publicly before Congress

Marsha Scott
January 11, 2019

President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen said on Thursday he had agreed to testify publicly before a congressional panel on February 7, as U.S. House of Representatives Democrats began kicking off numerous investigations of Trump, his business interests and his administration.

In a statement released on Thursday, Cohen said he had accepted the invitation "in furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers".

Cohen added: "I look forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired".

Cohen's cooperation with Mueller prompted a falling out with his former client, with Trump attacking Cohen on Twitter, including accusing him of lying to try to lessen his jail sentence. The Maryland representative sent letters sent a pair of letters to both the White House and the Trump Organization earlier this week following an earlier request for documents pertaining to the president's alleged failure to report debts and payments to his personal attorney "to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with the president before the election". Cohen worked on the Moscow project during the 2016 presidential campaign, which included outreach to Russian officials.

"I thank Michael Cohen for agreeing to testify before the Oversight Committee voluntarily", said Rep. Elijah Cummings, the House Oversight chairman.

Giuliani reportedly referred to Cohen as "a thoroughly discredited liar" and said he "doesn't know a damn thing about collusion".

It's unclear whether Cohen's testimony contains evidence that could lead to the impeachment of the U.S. president, but given the fact that Trump's casually-tweeted comments (such as criticisms of the Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell) have been correlated with major turbulence in the stock markets, the last thing the economy needs at the moment is another wild card.

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Cohen said a misplaced sense of loyalty led him to break the law for Trump.

When entering his guilty plea in court, Cohen told the judge he made the false statements "to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and to be loyal to Individual 1". Cohen initially lied and said the Trump Tower Moscow talks ended in January 2016, but he admitted last month those conversations extended through June 2016 when he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the project.

Individual 1 was a reference to Trump.

Cummings said the committee has no intention of interfering in ongoing criminal probes.

He also denied that Trump had committed impeachment offenses of high crimes or misdemeanors. Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the committee's chairman, said in a statement on Thursday that he understands "Mr. Cohen has expressed an interest in telling his personal story in open session" as well.

The president has assailed the various investigations, while Russian Federation has denied trying to interfere in the 2016 election for the purposes of sowing discord and improving Trump's prospects.

"We hope to schedule a closed session before our committee in the near future", Schiff said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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